I recently heard of a wedding in which it was estimated that the couple spent over $200,000 on their big day. They spent over $20,000 on flowers. Included for the big day was an expensive dress for the bride, made by a professional fashion designer. Of course, they had multiple photographers. And they got married in a beautiful venue in a major city. This couple went all out for their wedding day.
I hope this couple puts just as much time and energy into their marriage as they did their wedding day. Sadly, if they’re like most couples, they won’t. This won’t be a slam dunk premise, and you probably already know this, but here’s a reminder: your marriage is more important than your wedding day. Your wedding day is merely a day. Your marriage is a lifetime. Choose to spend more time and energy on the latter.
Two Wedding Day Temptations
There are two temptations for couples who ponder their wedding day. One is to look forward with anxiety, the other is to look back with bitterness. As Tim Keller says, “Worry is not believing God will get it right, and bitterness is believing God got it wrong.”
Looking forward with anxiety: If you’re dating or engaged and tempted to look forward on your wedding day with anxiety, let me encourage you to have peace knowing that the 60+ years spent with your spouse are more important than the 24 hour day spent in front of family and friends. Be grateful that you’re getting married, as this is a gift denied to many. Focus your time, energy, and money on investing in a lifetime with your spouse.
Looking back with bitterness: The fact that your marriage is more important than your wedding day is good news. It’s also a relief. This is a relief for those of you that didn’t have the perfect wedding day. If it rained and ruined your dress on your special day. If the photos of the wedding didn’t turn out the way you wanted them to. If you still can’t forgive so and so for what they did and said to you on your special day, or if you got embarrassed somehow. If any of these things happened to you, let me reassure you to not hold a grudge. Let me encourage you to laugh at what happened, be grateful that it wasn’t worse, and move on to focus your energy and time and money on your marriage.
Marriage and the Wedding Day
I’m excited to officiate weddings one day. I told my wife that I want to open a wedding one day by saying, “There’s only three people that matter here today: God, the Bride, and the Groom. The rest of us are pretty much irrelevant.” Of course, I won’t say that. It’s too abrupt and blunt and maybe even rude. And I don’t want to intentionally offend people. But I want to make sure the future couples I marry, and those who attend the wedding, realize that the actual marriage is more important than the actual day. I want people to realize that what God thinks (as revealed in his Word) and the way the world thinks are not the same.
Don’t get me wrong. The desire to have a smooth wedding day is noble. Go for it. Pray for it. Plan for it. Spend a little extra money on what you want (especially the videography. Get it on video!). In the book of John (John 2:1-12), Jesus is invited to a wedding where he turns water into wine and celebrates with people for up to a week long, a customary length for a wedding in that day. You can (and should) be excited and have fun.
But don’t let the way Pinterest and unbelievers do weddings disorient your view of marriage and distract you from what matters. And don’t put your hopes in a perfect day. You can’t control the day. Put your hopes in the perfect Savior who has already ordained the day — and all the details in it — for your good and his glory.
Outside of your relationship with the Lord, if you’re married, the most important thing in your life is your marriage. Not your job. Your marriage.
Are you putting energy into your marriage? Are you praying for, serving, and spending lots of time with your spouse? Are you pointing your spouse to Christ?
Satan hates your marriage. And he wants to destroy it. Pray for your spouse, your marriage, and pray that you will be able to glorify God and you and your spouse will enjoy a long, holy and happy Christ-like marriage. After all, marriage is God’s idea, and we should take God’s ideas seriously.